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Red Cross warns of ‘catastrophic’ situation in Yemen

Robert Mardini, the ICRC’s head of operations for the Middle East

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned of the disastrous humanitarian situation in Yemen after Saudi Arabia resumed its airstrikes against the impoverished country following a brief halt to its deadly four-week military campaign.

“The humanitarian situation is nothing short of catastrophic,” said Robert Mardini, the ICRC’s head of operations for the Middle East, in Geneva on Wednesday.

Mardini further cautioned that food supplies were fast depleting while hospitals remained non-functional due to a shortage of vital medicines in Yemen.

“The country is almost living on its reserves. Fuel supplies have reached zero levels,” the ICRC official added.

Saudi Arabia started its military aggression against Yemen on March 26, without a UN mandate, in a bid to restore power to the fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a close ally of Riyadh.

A Yemeni walks past a vehicle damaged during a Saudi airstrike near a military base in Sana’a, April 21, 2015. © AFP

On April 21, Saudi government spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri announced the termination of Riyadh’s raids against Yemen.

However, he added that Saudi Arabia would launch a second phase of its aggression, targeting the Houthi Ansarullah movement’s fighters in Yemen.

Yemen’s al-Masirah TV reported on Wednesday that Saudi warplanes carried out an airstrike against an area in the southern province of Lahij.

According to Yemen’s Health Ministry, over 950 people have been killed since Saudi Arabia started its aggression. Some 3,900 people have also been wounded.


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